DiscoverE Programs to be held at Parker Dam

PENFIELD – Parker Dam State Park is again offering DiscoverE programs to youth at the park this summer.

Do you know a child who enjoys exploring the outdoors or who constantly asks questions about nature?  If so, the DiscoverE programs will help these youngsters learn about the natural world around them.

This series of fun and exciting programs allows young people to explore their environment with others of the same age and abilities.  Youth who progress year to year from one program to the next in the series will continue to grow in their understanding of the environment and their role in it.

Pennsylvania state parks’ natural resources and historic sites are discovered through exciting programs provided by trained educators and interpreters.  By combining recreation and education, park officials hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.

DiscoverE offers a variety of activities to meet developmental levels and social skills of different age groups.  Younger learners will explore the outdoors through structured play, reinforced by stories and crafts.  Older youth will be challenged by gaining recreational skills, conducting special projects, and participating in valuable experiences.

DiscoverE programs at state parks have been developed for young people ages 4-17.  Hide-‘n-Seekers is for children 4 and 5 years old, Outdoor Explorers is for kids 6-8 years old and Penn’s Adventurers is for youth between 9 and 12 years old.

Young people between the ages of 13 and 17 can participate in Conservation Leaders, an independent study program where participants work with park professionals to accomplish a project or activity, while developing a sense of stewardship and responsibility for the park’s resources.

This year’s Hide-‘n-Seekers theme at Parker Dam State Park is “Outdoor Curiosity.”  Children participating in the Hide-‘n-Seekers program will learn how to safely explore their natural surroundings and how to find answers to their questions about the outdoors through activities, walks, games and crafts.

Hide-‘n-Seekers is comprised of six hours of programming over three days.  This program does require one parent or guardian to be present with their child during the entire program.  The program will be held June 24-26, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.

The Outdoor Explorers program theme this year is “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”  Children participating in the program will learn about a variety of animals and local wildlife through activities, walks, games, and crafts.

Outdoor Explorers is open to children ages 6-8, is also comprised of six hours of programming, and runs for three days.  There is no requirement for a parent or guardian to remain during this program.  The program will be held July 8-10 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.

The Penn’s Adventurers program is open to children ages 9-12 and is comprised of 12 hours of programming over three days.  The Penn’s Adventurers theme this year is “Up in the Sky.”

Participants will learn about a variety of things found in the sky, including birds, weather, and night sky objects.  There will be activities, walks, games and crafts; all focused on the sky.

There is no requirement for a parent or guardian to remain during this program.  The program will be held July 15-17, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day.

There is no fee to participate in the DiscoverE programs.  However, class size is limited and participants must pre-register.  Parents can go to the Bureau of State Parks Web site at www.VisitPAParks.com and register their children by clicking on “Events Calendar” and then, on the calendar page, selecting “Parker Dam State Park” as the facility.

Select the program that you wish to enroll your child in and follow the instructions on how to register.  If successfully registered, you will be contacted with more details as the program dates approach.

If you would like more information, or are having problems with the online registration, contact the Environmental Education Specialist at Parker Dam State Park by phone at 814-765-0630 or by email at parkerdamsp@pa.gov.

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